You know something that stinks about parenthood that nobody talks about nearly enough? It is isolating as hell, man.
You have a baby, and suddenly large chunks of your life are just inaccessible. And not just because you have less free time than you used to – that’s absolutely part of it, but it’s mostly because a lot of other people in your life aren’t ready. Your social circles all just ignore that kid. Work pretends they’re not a factor, doctors pretend like you can prioritize 30 minutes at the gym over feeding them, and your friends assume you’re not bringing that thing with you next time you hang out. And yeah, I mean… nobody else is that baby’s parent, so I get that I’m the one that’s gonna be changing the diapers. But it’d be great if this “they simply don’t exist” attitude wasn’t literally the thesis of all American society and politics.
When you have kids, you are reminded every single waking moment of your life that this is YOUR child, and YOU are their only lifeline, and nobody else gives a flying fuck about their welfare. And that means your choices are either neglect or sacrifice.
Or, sometimes, you can join one of those lame mommy/daddy groups where a bunch of other new parents desperate for interaction all act awkwardly around either other and crack the same ten lame jokes. But that’s missing the point, my dude. I don’t want to hang with you to talk about our kids. I want to hang out with another adult so we can play a board game besides Candyland or maybe watch an R-rated movie or something.
Anyway, the nice thing is sometimes you do still have friends who get it and will work around your new schedule, and they’re still fun to hang with. And sometimes they’re responsible enough to get vaccinated, and then they invite you to a party like the one we’re going to tonight. And sometimes your kids are old enough that they can keep themselves busy while you play poker and tell dirty jokes, and then you’ll go home at the end of the day and everybody will be totally fine.
Those are good days. Today’s going to be a good day.